What a weekend of lovely nostalgia.
I was lucky enough to have two of my childhood fantasy universes descend before my eyes. I am talking of course about the wizarding world of Harry Potter and a galaxy far, far away.
Now before I continue, I am going to offer up a warning and the chance for people to run for the hills if they are worried I am about to spoil anything. I hate having films ruined for me and do what I can to make sure they are not ruined for others. I’m trying to write with a broad brush in order to sugest some of the things I am excited at without directly ruining it ahead of a good viewing.
On Saturday I saw Rogue One with my fellow gentlemen George and Benjy. We met first for brunch which was basically lunch as it was after twelve. I need to give a shout out to Kelsey for a free meal.
We took the backseat of the cinema so we could all feel one another up in the joyous dark side and then the lights descended. The first thing I noted is that the upcoming feature from Illumination, Sing, looks like the worst pile of shit I’ve ever had the discomfort of sitting through. And that’s really saying something because I’ve seen Frozen. The Batman Lego movie on the other hand looks brilliant and I am hoping my godsons want to see it so I have a cover for going to see it.
Now, Star Wars.
So many feels.
There’s a part of me that is filled with a stomach-flipping childlike joy whenever I see the words “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”, It just gets me. It makes me feel.
The characters are all developed and rogueish which is fitting for the title. There are loads of lovely little nods to the original trilogy, there are cameos aplenty and the mixture of real effects and CGI works really nicely. The story is entirely separate from anything covered in the Skywalker character-led films but obviously leads into A New Hope. It’s just a well-crafted and fun film. I couldn’t have asked for anything else.
Like a lot of people, I had concerns when Disney took over the franchise but if it means they will be bringing me a new film in the Star Wars universe once a year then I am all for it. Marvel are following a similar model and absolutely smashing it so why not do the same with Star Wars.
Yesterday I saw Fantastic Beasts which has already been out for a month but shows no sign of being pulled from my local picture house.
It’s set in the wizarding world but some seventy years before Harry Potter and his little mates were fooling around round the back of the owl sheds. Instead it follows the adorable Newt Scamander as he gets a ship over to New York for some reason.
The film does well to not talk down or oversell the idea and again there are a number of cute nods to everything we knew and loved about the seven books and eight films which made The Boy Who Lived a bearable character. I’m pretty sure Newt was wearing a Hufflepuff scarf.
The fantastic beasts themselves were cute or terrifying in equal ,measures and a lot was done to establish them in the way they were featured in Newt’s book, as published several years ago by Rowling for Comic Relief. The idea that the series is going to be extended over five films is interesting given the thin volume that was the original source material but In JK We Trust.
The important thing to take from this is that it is important to cultivate your childish joy in life. Both Harry potter and Star Wars were key to my development into the fine young man you see before you. I will always have a place for them in my heart and it is good to see them being so well cared for.